Having a rock-solid brand identity solidifies the foundations for the rest of your marketing efforts, which is crucial in today’s crowded marketplace! Think about all the successful brands that have become household names; Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola, for instance, are instantly recognisable and have only really changed their brand identities subtly over the years. Yet they continue to stay fresh, modern and relevant to this day.
And, while we can’t all be Apple, (as much as we’d like to!), we can develop an unshakeable brand identity. A strong brand identity allows brands like Chanel to charge a heavy price premium that other brands could only dream about. In fact, a recent study showed that the consistent presentation of a brand can increase company revenue by as much as 33%. This perception of quality tells consumers that your products won’t break at first use or you won’t disappear into oblivion after locking them into a long-term contract.
What is a brand identity?
Firstly, a brand identity encompasses your brand’s logo but it also includes its entire visual identity, values and how that brand is communicated. In a nutshell, think of a brand identity as the personality of your business and how that is expressed.
How to start developing a brand identity
The most successful companies invest firstly in brand strategy coupled with high-quality brand design - as well as the continuing evolution of their brand identity. And, while this process isn’t as simple as creating a logo and slapping it onto all your marketing materials, it’s also not that complicated, provided you have a strong vision for your brand.
Here are our top tips for creating a distinctive brand identity that will help your business stand out from the crowd so you’re not just promoting your brand, you’re promoting how your brand is different.
1. Ensure your brand has a clear vision and purpose
The world’s most recognisable brands have a well-defined vision and purpose; it’s WHY. Your brand identity acts like a compass, navigating the direction of everything you do as a brand across all mediums, activities and collateral.
Think about brands like Thank You. Since its conception, the brand has always had a clear purpose; to “redistribute wealth from consumer choice”. Everything about the brand exemplifies this mission, from its packaging to the products themselves and the ways in which they are made.
This clearly defined position not only makes the brand easy to understand, but it makes it far more memorable in its customer’s view.
2. Develop a definitive brand personality
It might sound silly at first, but try thinking of your brand like a person. If your brand was a person, who would they be? Would they be a man or a woman, or are they more androgynous? What would they do? Where would they hang out, and why?
For instance, if you were to create a person to embody Nike, they would be athletic, active, powerful, motivational, fast, and inspiring. It would be both male and female. Its interests would be in sports, health, nutrition, personal best, achievements. This can be helpful in creating a solid and memorable brand personality.
3. Reinforce your points of difference, purpose or personality
Define your brand’s purpose and learn to embody that. If your brand is all about female empowerment, embody that in everything your brand does, reinforce it with your consumers and never deviate from that vision.
Exemplify your purpose in every single facet of your brand … and we mean everything, including all consumer touch points. That includes your branding, personality, social media, marketing materials, community initiatives, competitions, your products or services and even the way they are packaged or presented.
4. Test your brand identity
Use surveys to test your brand’s identity. Conduct A/B testing using email marketing and analyse the results you’re seeing on social media. What kind of language or visuals best appeals to your audience? Testing is a helpful way to find answers and refine your brand identity and its appeal.
5. Keep your brand consistent
Consistency is everything when it comes to branding. Stay true to your brand identity in everything you do. When brands do something that doesn’t seem to fit their brand identity, this can look inauthentic and confuse consumers. 86% of consumers believe authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. Sense check everything you do as a business, asking yourself if it really aligns with your brand identity.
Do you need help defining your brand identity?
We work with companies to develop their brands when they’re just starting out or even when they need a brand refresh, which happens to all of us at some point! We help them better appeal to their current customers or find entirely new consumers. We help them find their purpose or differentiation. Not only that, we help implement a brand identity throughout all facets of our client’s businesses and can continue to support brands well beyond a logo with ongoing marketing, communications, websites and more.
To start defining your new brand or redefining your existing one, contact us today. Or, sign up to our own newsletter to receive regular brand tips and advice on clever branding strategies.